Everything you do in your business is a process. From customer service to sales and marketing. Being successful in business is all about optimizing these processes as much as possible.
Optimization is such an important area of business, but this critical area is often overlooked by business owners and CEOs amidst cries of “I’m too busy!” or “I don’t have the time right now—I’ll get to it eventually…”
Inevitably, some of those people never find the time and they simply continue along their trajectory, completely oblivious to the fact that they could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
But the concept of optimization is simple:
“Maximum results for the time with the minimum risk, the minimum effort and the minimum expense.” – Jay Abraham.
Optimization just means that you are utilizing all of your resources, to the maximum efficiency. Imagine if you could double or triple the effectiveness of your sales process to bring in more customers, or quadruple the effectiveness of your customer service processes to improve customer satisfaction and retain customers 400% longer! Don’t you think that would have an amazing impact on your business? Or on your life and on the life of the people who work for you, not to mention your customers?
Of course it would. But here’s the thing, optimization isn’t something you can just jump into and there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before you can start experimenting:
1. Documenting – What exactly are your processes? Do you know everything your employees are doing for you? Do you have a set process to follow for each area of your business?
If not, document it. Ask your employees or team managers to agree and construct concrete processes for every action in the business. Do this for the next month and by the end you will have a complete blueprint for the running of your business.
2. Tracking - In order to make improvements and to optimize a process, you need to track and measure everything. First define the metric that process is supposed to deliver, then track how changes to the process increase or decrease that metric.
For example, “having the team leader double check work for quality costs him two hours each day” but also, what are you getting in return for this additional check? How many bugs has this check found / fixed?
You should know what your return is on the investments you make in all areas of your business. Then you can move forwards and optimize.
3. Optimization – At this stage, you should know all the important processes in your business and what results you are currently receiving with the resources you have.
There are many ways to optimize your business, but one of the easiest ways is to simply test different ways of doing things then tracking and comparing the results against the results you had before.
Always remember that looking for external factors to help boost sales or customer satisfaction is not the only way to optimize your business and improve profits. Simply look internally and optimize everything you already have first. Strive to optimize constantly in all areas of your business.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
About the Author:
Vinay Patankar is the CEO of Process Street, a productivity tool for process driven teams. Find him on Twitter or his Blog. Process Street is 100% free to use for small teams and freelancers. Create a free account here: http://process.st